Kostas Antetokounmpo

Bulls Convert Kostas Antetokounmpo To Two-Way Contract

The Bulls have signed forward Kostas Antetokounmpo to a two-way contract, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Technically, Antetokounmpo, who was in camp with the Bulls on an Exhibit 10 contract, had that deal converted into a two-way pact. Teams are allowed to turn Exhibit 10s into two-ways at any time up until October 17, assuming the player meets the two-way criteria. Antetokounmpo, the younger brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo, has just three years of NBA experience, so he fits the bill.

Although he has appeared in NBA games in three separate seasons, Antetokounmpo has never played a regular rotation role during previous stops with the Mavericks and Lakers. The 24-year-old has logged just 87 total minutes in 22 games, putting up 21 points and 23 rebounds during his limited action.

Malcolm Hill and Justin Lewis had previously held the Bulls’ two-way contract slots. The Bulls haven’t announced that they’ve waived either player, but K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago suggests that Lewis, who sustained an ACL injury this summer, will be the odd man out. Lewis will remain around the team during his recovery process, Johnson writes.

In other Bulls roster news, the club has signed former NBA forward Okaro White to a contract, per RealGM’s transaction log. White is still listed as part of the roster on the team’s official website, but will likely be waived in the next 24 hours or so and eventually join the Windy City Bulls, Chicago’s G League team.

Bulls Notes: DeRozan, K. Antetokounmpo, Dosunmu, Offense

Bulls star DeMar DeRozan isn’t worried about his play declining as he enters his 14th season, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. DeRozan turned 33 years old in August.

As long as you take care of yourself, as long as you work, technology is completely different,” DeRozan said. “It’s not like I’m Kevin Willis [who retired at 44] out here or anything like that. Shout-out to Kevin Willis.

I’m just saying, there are so many ways to take care of yourself — physically, mentally, nutrition, the technology that you have for recovery. There are so many ways that you can be effective longer periods of time.”

It makes sense that DeRozan would dismiss his age potentially being an issue considering he’s coming off arguably the best season of his accomplished career. In 76 games (36.1 MPG) in 2021/22, the five-time All-Star averaged a career-high 27.9 PPG on .504/.350/.877 shooting along with 5.2 RPG and 4.9 APG.

DeRozan says the stacked Eastern Conference is fueling him to reach greater heights in ’22/23.

I love the competitive island that the East is on,” DeRozan said, per Cowley. “You have to compete. For me, people get so caught up in the rankings, but you put me in a room with the best, and it brings out the best in me. That’s the approach that we have to take this whole season. This is the toughest the East has been since I’ve been in the league.”

Here’s more from Chicago:

  • Kostas Antetokounmpo, who is signed to an Exhibit 10 deal, recently had an interview with K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago about training camp, EuroBasket, his brother Giannis Antetokounmpo, and more. Kostas says he doesn’t feel pressure to try and have his contract converted to a two-way deal. “I just stay the course, try to get better, try to help the team as much as I can,” he said. “Everything is meant to be. If you get it, you get it. If you don’t, move on to the next opportunity. The goal is just to get better. When I’m said and done, I’m going to say I became the best player I could.”
  • Veteran guard Goran Dragić says Ayo Dosunmu has impressed him during training camp, as Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “I really like Ayo. He’s a great kid,” Dragić said after Monday’s practice when asked which of his new teammates has stood out the most. “He really listens and he’s really asking questions. For me, it’s just to guide him on the right path. He has such a great talent and he’s a positive kid. He really surprised me.” Dosunmu earned a second-team All-Rookie nod last season and will look to build on that entering year two.
  • The Bulls are looking to add elements of randomness into their offense this season after it became predictable at times in ’21/22, Schaefer notes in another article. “Free-flowing. Quick reads. For isolation, one on one players, we’re going to get a couple of those shots up. That’s part of our game. But quick reads. Fast decisions,” Zach LaVine said as part of a larger quote when asked to describe the Bulls’ offense. “The ball should be popping side to side. Being able to use different players in different spots. We’re not just going to be stuck on the sideline doing a pick and roll or rolling it into the post.”
  • After the Bulls went 46-36 and finished sixth in the East last season, John Hollinger of The Athletic predicts the team will take a step back in ’22/23 and finish with a 40-42 record and the ninth seed. Hollinger writes that Lonzo Ball‘s knee injury will hurt the team’s playoff chances, and he thinks Patrick Williams is arguably the team’s most important player and might be the key to unlocking more wins if he improves.

Contract Details: Lakers, Galloway, DSJ, McCollum, More

When the Lakers signed Matt Ryan and Dwayne Bacon to non-guaranteed training camp contracts earlier this month, both players received Exhibit 9 clauses in their new deals, but not Exhibit 10s, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Exhibit 9 contracts are non-guaranteed camp deals that don’t count against the cap during the preseason and offer teams some protection in the event of an injury. Exhibit 10s are similar, but also allow teams to convert the player to a two-way deal (if he’s eligible) or to give him a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the team’s G League affiliate.

As a general rule, a player who signs a training camp contract without an Exhibit 10 clause is usually just competing for a spot on his team’s 15-man regular season roster and won’t end up playing for the club’s G League affiliate if he doesn’t make the cut.

Langston Galloway (Pacers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Hornets), LiAngelo Ball (Hornets), Cody Zeller (Jazz), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Suns), and Wes Iwundu (Trail Blazers) are among the other recently signed free agents who signed Exhibit 9 – not Exhibit 10 – contracts.

Here are a few more contract details from around the NBA:

Kostas Antetokounmpo Joins Bulls On Training Camp Deal

SEPTEMBER 26: The Bulls have officially announced their 20-man camp roster and Antetokounmpo is on it, signaling that his deal with the team is now official.


SEPTEMBER 18: The Bulls will sign Kostas Antetokounmpo to a training camp contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Antetokounmpo will be given a chance to compete for a two-way roster spot, sources tell Charania. Those slots are currently filled by Justin Lewis, who recently suffered a torn ACL, and Malcolm Hill.

Antetokounmpo, 24, hopes to return to the NBA after spending last season with the French team ASVEL in the EuroLeague. After being selected with the final pick in the 2018 draft, he earned two-way contracts with the Mavericks and Lakers and won a championship ring in 2020. Antetokounmpo appeared in 22 total games over three seasons, averaging 1.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in four minutes per night.

Chicago has an open spot remaining on its 20-man offseason roster, so no corresponding move will be necessary to add Antetokounmpo.

Bulls Reportedly Interested In Kostas Antetokounmpo

The Bulls are showing interest in former NBA big man Kostas Antetokounmpo, according to Christos Tsaltas of SDNA.gr.

Antetokounmpo spent the 2021/22 season with LCLC ASVEL, the champion of the French LNB Pro A league that also competes in the EuroLeague. However, he’s interested in an NBA return, and after a strong recent performance with the Greek national team in a victory over Turkey, Antetokounmpo was contacted by Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas, Tsaltas reports, per Google Translate.

According to our roster count tracker, Chicago currently has 15 players signed to guaranteed standard deals, with undrafted rookie Justin Lewis, who underwent surgery last week for a torn ACL, on a two-way contract. The Bulls also have Malcolm Hill as a two-way restricted free agent.

Antetokounmpo only has three years of NBA experience, so he’d be eligible for a two-way deal for one more season, assuming the two sides are interested in that arrangement.

The 60th pick of the 2018 draft after one season at Dayton, Antetokounmpo spent his rookie season on a two-way deal with the Mavericks. He only appeared in two games at the NBA level, spending most of the season with Dallas’ G League affiliate, the Texas Legends.

Dallas waived the 24-year-old in the summer of 2019, but he was claimed by the Lakers, winning a title with L.A. in 2020 as a two-way player. In 20 games with the Lakers from 2019-2021, he played just 76 total minutes, having spent most of his time with South Bay, the team’s NBAGL affiliate.

It’s worth noting that Chicago’s reported interest in Antetokoumpo comes on the heels of his older brother, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, stating that he might be open to playing for the Bulls in the future.

The Greek national team has a couple of upcoming qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup before heading to Italy for the EuroBasket tournament, which tips off on September 1, as Tasos Kokkinidis of GreekReporter.com relays.

Kostas Antetokounmpo Signs With French Team

JULY 16: Antetokounmpo has signed a two-year deal with Asvel in France, according to Alessandro Maggi of Sportando.


JULY 2: Lakers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo is nearing a five-year contract with Olympiacos in his native Greece, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The news was first reported by FOS Online, which adds that Antetokounmpo has agreed to accept the offer from Olympiacos.

At 23, Kostas is the youngest of the three Antetokounmpo brothers in the NBA. He appeared in 15 games for L.A. this season on a two-way contract and averaged just 3.7 minutes per night, scoring 0.8 points and collecting 1.3 rebounds. This was his second season with the Lakers after being claimed off waivers from the Mavericks in 2019.

Antetokounmpo was taken by the Sixers with the final pick in the 2018 draft and was traded to Dallas on draft night. He signed a two-way contract with the Mavs, but played in just two NBA games before being released.

He is currently representing Greece in this week’s Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

Western Notes: Doncic, K. Antetokounmpo, Ibaka, Warriors

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was available to play in Game 4 against the Clippers on Sunday night, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported he would. Doncic suffered a strained neck in Game 3 and his status was uncertain at the time.

“It’s just weird,” Doncic said of his injury, which also caused some pain in his left arm. “Just some massage, some ice and hopefully it will be good.”

Doncic has played some of the best basketball of his career this series, averaging 38 points, 8.7 rebounds and nine assists through three games. He’s also shot 52% from the floor and 46% from behind-the-arc.

There’s more from the Western Conference tonight:

  • Lakers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo has been attending to a personal matter in Greece, explaining his recent absence from the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Antetokoumpo is currently on a two-way contract with the club. There’s optimism that he could return if the Lakers advance past the Suns in the first round, the duo notes.
  • Clippers big man Serge Ibaka missed Game 4 due to lingering back soreness, as first reported by Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Ibaka has provided valuable production when healthy, averaging 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 41 games this season.
  • The Warriors still have a ways to go before returning to contention, says Moke Hamilton of Basketball News. Golden State played without Klay Thompson (torn Achilles’ rehab) this season, though Thompson is expected to return for 2021-22. The team would have its championship trio of Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green to build around for the future.

California Notes: Poole, Kostas, Smailagić, Walton

As the Warriors strive to make a return to the playoffs, they owe it to themselves to give young reserve guard Jordan Poole more minutes, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area opines. Poole can provide some ball-handling for the second unit, a skill that is not a strength for his fellow backup guard Brad Wanamaker. With a 19-18 record, the Warriors are currently the No. 10 seed in the crowded Western Conference, which would qualify them for the play-in portion of the 2021 playoffs.

After Jordan Poole outperformed expectations playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League Orlando “bubble,” Monte Poole believes the time has come for him to get extended run spotting Stephen Curry in the second and fourth quarters during the All-Star point guard’s allocated rest breaks. Poole averaged 22.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 3.5 APG across 11 games (all starts) with Santa Cruz.

There’s more out of California:

  • Lakers reserve forward Kostas Antetokounmpo, who signed his second two-way contract with Los Angeles during the offseason, has entered the league’s COVID-19 protocols, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Center Marc Gasol remains away from the team in coronavirus protocols as well.
  • Warriors forward Alen Smailagić has been recalled from Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, the team announced in a press release. Smailagić averaged 7.5 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 10 games for Santa Cruz.
  • While Kings head coach Luke Walton‘s job remains safe entering the second half of the 2020/21 season, Sacramento’s roster may undergo some changes with the March 25 deadline fast approaching, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

L.A. Notes: Horton-Tucker, LeBron, AD, COVID-19, Mann

With his second consecutive impressive preseason performance on Sunday, second-year Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker is making a strong case to be part of the team’s regular season rotation, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes.

“It’s going to make my job difficult for sure,” head coach Frank Vogel said when asked about finding a role for Horton-Tucker, who poured in 33 points in Sunday’s win to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

“We have a very deep team. No minutes are guaranteed,” Vogel added. “He’s going to keep playing at a high level, and that should push everybody else to stay playing at a high level. It does give us that luxury of having him carry the load some for some of our guys who played deep in the championship run last year and had a short offseason.”

Even if the Lakers stay relatively healthy this season, the club should prioritize finding regular minutes for Horton-Tucker, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who says the franchise will need to develop young talent if it wants to remain a title contender for years to come

Here’s more on the NBA’s two Los Angeles-based teams:

  • Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis didn’t play at all during the team’s first two preseason contests, but they’ll both be “ready to go” when the regular season gets underway next week, according to Vogel (link via Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times).
  • Both the Lakers and Clippers were missing players on Sunday due to “excused absences” believed to be related to the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Those absences may be related to inconclusive tests or contact tracing, so they don’t necessarily mean the individual tested positive for COVID-19, according to Greif, who notes that the Lakers were without Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok, while the Clippers were missing Reggie Jackson and assistant coach Chauncey Billups.
  • Although Terance Mann has seen some time at shooting guard and small forward, the Clippers view the 24-year-old as a point guard and expect him to be a key contributor off the bench, as Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.